Types of Insurance

Types of Insurance

Term insurance is the most basic, and generally least expensive, form of life insurance for people under age 50. A term policy is written for a specific period of time, typically 1 to 10 years, and may be renewable at the end of each term. Also, the premiums increase at the end of each term and can become prohibitively expensive for older individuals. A level term policy locks in the annual premium for periods of up to 30 years.

Declining Balance Term insurance, a variation on this theme, is often used as mortgage insurance since it can be written to match the amortization of your mortgage principal. While the premium stays constant over the term, the face value steadily declines. Once the mortgage is paid off, the insurance is no longer needed and the policy expires. Unlike many other policies, term insurance has no cash value. In this sense, it is "pure" insurance without any investment options. Benefits are paid only if you die during the policy's term. After the term ends, your coverage expires unless you choose to renew the policy. When buying term insurance, you might look for a policy that is renewable up to age 70 and convertible to permanent insurance without a medical exam.

Whole Life combines permanent protection with a savings component. As long as you continue to pay the premiums, you are able to lock in coverage at a level premium rate. Part of that premium accrues as cash value. As the policy gains value, you may be able to borrow up to 90% of your policy's cash value tax-free.

Universal Life is similar to whole life with the added benefit of potentially higher earnings on the savings component. Universal life policies are also highly flexible in regard to premiums and face value. Premiums can be increased, decreased or deferred, and cash values can be withdrawn. You may also have the option to change face values. Universal life policies typically offer a guaranteed return on cash value, usually at least 4%. You'll receive an annual statement that details cash value, total protection, earnings, and fees.

Drawbacks to this type of insurance include higher fees and interest rate sensitivity. Universal policies include up-front fees as well as ongoing administrative fees totaling as high as 5% to 7% of your premiums. You may also find your premiums increasing when interest rates decline.

Variable Life generally offers fixed premiums and control over your policy's cash value. Your cash value is invested in your choice of stock, bond, or money market funding options. Cash values and death benefits can rise and fall based on the performance of your investment choices. Although death benefits usually have a floor, there is no guarantee on cash values. Fees for these policies may be higher than for universal life, and investment options can be volatile. On the plus side, capital gains and other investment earnings accrue tax deferred as long as the funds remain invested in the insurance contract.

Universal Variable Life insurance is the most aggressive type of policy. Like variable life, you control your investment in mutual funds. However, there are no guarantees on universal variable policies beyond the original face value death benefit. These policies are probably best suited to affluent buyers who can afford the risks involved.

Key Terms and Definitions

* Face Value -- The original death benefit amount.
* Convertibility -- Option to convert from one type of policy (term) to another (whole life), usually without a physical examination.
* Cash Value -- The savings portion of a policy that can be borrowed against or cashed in.
* Premiums -- Monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments required to maintain coverage.
* Beneficiary -- The individual(s) or entity (e.g., trust) that is designated as benefit recipient.
* Paid Up -- A policy requiring no further premium payments due to prepayment or earnings.

Buying Life Insurance For The First Time

Buying Life Insurance For The First Time

When one purchase insurance, it means that you are buying something that you would never use it, but in case you need to file an insurance claim, you would come to know how important it is to have right type of coverage. Follow the below given tips in case you are a first time buyer for life insurance.

It is a remarkable fact that people who is actually healthy get best rates on life insurance. You would be asked to pay a superior rate of anything that lessen your life expectancy for example, if you have smoking habit, or if you are overweight, or may be bad in driving.

The life insurance company would certainly ask you about your health check history and might desire you to take some kind of medical you as well test for. While filling up the health advice form you need to be true to them, in case you lie the company would find out and your life insurance policy would be surely canceled. And if in case your sick and were to die and then the life insurance company found out you lied earlier, if, for instance, you said you were a non-smoker but ended up dying of lung cancer from a smoking habit, they would then certainly deny the death benefits.

No matter what type of insurance you're purchasing, the course is fundamentally the same. Once you've determined what type of insurance and as well how much coverage you require, you could start contacting insurance companies online, straight by phone, or even through an insurance broker or agent to get quotes. Get quotes from numerous diverse insurers because premium cost could surely vary widely.

An insurance policy may cost less because it offers less, or dissimilar, features and benefits. And make certain the company you've settled on is highly regarded, with high-quality customer service and also claims-paying ability. All insurance companies are rated by chief rating agencies (e.g. Standard & Poor's, Moody's, A.M. Best) on their available capability to pay claims. You could also access these ratings online, by way of public libraries, or through insurance company literature.
An insurance policy is a legal contract that may be loaded with technical terms that are hard to understand. But read it anyway before you sign on the dotted line to find out about the coverage you're buying. A life insurance policy is a lawful deal, which might be loaded with technical terms that are hard to understand, but you need to read it anyways before you sign on dotted line to find out about the premium and coverage you are buying. For instance, the policy would tell you:

Who is covered?
What coverage eliminations and limitations apply?
When coverage starts and ends
How much coverage is actually provided to you?
How much you would pay for insurance coverage
How you report a loss and to file a claim

The most excellent key for purchasing right amount of life insurance is just to have sufficient coverage policy which meets your need. In case if it carry more life insurance than what you really required; you'll land up paying unwanted for higher premiums. On the other hand it is also significant not to have too little coverage, which might result in you being underinsured.

If you've been putting off for buying life insurance because you don't want to pay the premiums, you might be doing yourself damage in the long run. The younger you are when you buy life insurance coverage, the lower your premiums would pay. Make your life insurance policies work for you by taking the time to occasionally review your needs and coverages.